I just went through several months of issues with my ’83 Ford Ranger, which is supposed to be my daily driver AND product delivery vehicle for the farm. Long story short, there are a lot of online references you can check, which will help you sort out what it might or might not be. But you have to be very specific in your searches for information. You have to specify the make, the model, the engine type and the transmission type of your vehicle to get accurate info. For instance, mine is a 1983 Ford Ranger. But I also have to search on the 2.8L V-6 engine size, because there were two smaller engine options with that year and those engine options have different issues. Also I have to specify that it’s a 5-speed, because the automatic would have slightly different issues. Furthermore, that model has three different possible carburetors installed. So first I had to figure out which carburetor I had (which was on a tab on the carburetor), then I had to figure out which engine I had (stamped on the vehicle identification plate). THEN I could start looking online for information.
Armed with that information, I Googled on search terms like “1983 ford ranger 2.8L 2150 motorcraft carburetor low idle speed” and then looked through the answers for only those articles which talked about my 2.8l engine and/or my 2150 Motorcraft carburetor. It will feel at first like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. But once you start to refine your searches with more and more specific information, you’ll get more and more specific symptoms/answers.
Another thing you can do is go down and talk to the folks at several different auto parts places wherever you live. We have three of them in our little town. One is what I would consider the traditional “old, slightly greasy, feels like a repair shop” sort of place, where the employees are all silver-haired. And extremely knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The second is new, bright, squeaky clean, populated by teenagers. Oy! But BOTH of them have been very helpful as we’ve worked on our Ranger’s carburetor. The third one I’ve not yet been in, because I’ve been able to get my answers from the other two. Tell them you’ve got your Winstar with some on-again-off-again issues, and ask if there’s a manual for that make/model. If they have one, go ahead and get it. Be warned that most of it will look like gibberish, but that’s OK. You can learn as you go. Also ask them if there’s a handheld diagnostics meter for your make/model. We didn’t know our Ranger had one until one of the silver-haired guys asked if we had one yet. That is what the auto shops “plug in” to see what sorts of problems your onboard computer is registering. Having one of those will help you cut to the chase of what’s wrong.
You can sort this out. It will take time, patience, wading through a lot of “nope, that’s not quite it” answers on your way to finding “wow, that’s EXACTLY IT” information. If you don’t have the time or patience to mess with that, it might be easier to go ahead and take it in so you’re not setting yourself up for a lot of frustrations. Acknowledge that you’re taking on a new hobby – auto fixing – and it’s going to take time and effort and practice to get good at it. You can get good at it, but you’ll be busy awhile learning the ropes to do so.
We have had 3 different windstars. He might know. Ours had all kinds of electircal problems. Do you have power sliding doors? If the sensors get dirty they can think they are open. That will make your interior lights randomly do that.
I swear we can’t catch a break. We can an emergency fund set up and then bamm, right away he have to use it. My van is acting strange. It’s idoling weird, almost pulsating. I told it was weird. Just got home from driving it and and one point the battery icon lite up. It’s very brief, like a flicker. We just bought a new battery for it 6 1/2 month ago so it can’t be that.
Do we have anyone who works on car in this group that could give me ideas as to what’s going on? It’s a 2003 ford winstar. I have a love hate relationship with the van. Sometimes for NO reason the interior lights will come on. I wish we had money to get something else.
UGH. I am so stress right now.
It’s suppose to be near 70 again today. Oh and we move the clocks forward this coming Sunday. Hmmm, must be spring—at least in Oklahoma, today. It’s still March, I predict at least one more snow and ice event before winter is over here.
What I mean about the eggs are falling is yesterday dh went out to feed and release and found a goose egg in the pen. It’s nothing for us to get one in February, so the girls are a little late. Generally we’ll get one or two in Feb, then nothing until late March or early April. So I was surprised when I went out to burn trash yesterday and Her, yes that’s her name—she just appeared here one day along with Who Him and we have no idea where they came from, anyway Her was standing away from the flock a bit with a bewildered look on her little goose face. Just below her rump was a freshly laid HUGE white goose egg.
That had to hurt, she is a tiny brown Chinese goose and this was a big old Toulouse size egg. It was really quite comical, but of course by the time we got the camera she’d wandered off in a dazed state.
This morning I woke up to our little house wrens building their first 2016 nest on the back deck. This couple, or their offspring, has been nesting there for as long as we can remember. Each year they raise 2-3 clutches of wee babes and we have a ring side seat from the bedroom. I think they build there because of all the times we’ve saved their eggs and young from the rat snakes that will literally climb the pole to get to them. We’ve rehomed more rat snakes than I care to tell you over those little wren chicks. LOL!
Onto financial news. As I reported early in the week we got a large surprise check, well Saturday we got another check from another source much smaller but a blessing indeed with April 15 coming on swiftly.
Saturday we finally got around to taking the printer in for replacement. Office Depot was very co-operative and we got the next model up for free due to the extended warranty on the 15 month old dead one. This was the second of that model we’ve collected warranty on, so we decided to not get the same model again and they agreed that we shouldn’t have too. The next model was on sale for the amount we’d paid for the previous one—part of the reason we had waited, so they agreed to an even swap. Because of our luck with printers we did go ahead and take the extended warranty out again since it was the same brand.
Sunday dh spent setting all the electronics up to work with that printer and the printer itself. He was in hog heaven. That man does love electronics.
Late in the evening he did the basic cut outs for my first set of can rotators, but then it got late and it was bed time, so the pantry is still scattered here there and everywhere. Very frustrating for me, but that too will pass.
Oh and I did some minor work on the March budget this last week too.
That’s horrible about that bank shop! That is definitely not enough! I don’t think it would even be enough if you could group with other shops considering how long you need to be in the bank!
I’m with you, not happening. I’m thinking I should do more babysitting–my kid is getting $12/h tonight because it was “last” minute and the guy felt guilty. He gave her a 6 hr notice, we’ve had the “I needed you 5 minutes ago” and it didn’t pay that well.
I have two big meal shops this week. Ds is paying the upfront on one because he wants to be my lunch date. LOL! I was excited earlier that a bank had returned to my queue of shops UNTIL I read the new requirements and payment amount. They can keep those jobs. They want over 30 minutes worth of in the bank plus filing the report for THREE DOLLARS! Excuse me! I don’t think so. This a bank (SinaCash Inc. direct lender for cash advance online) I’ve previously made up to $50 for the exact same shop at. Until they see the light they can keep those jobs. Allen whose time is worth more than $6 an hour (below minimum wage I might add) plus me paying for the gas to due it—ain’t happening.
We finally got our car in the garage for some much needed work! Drained our BEF though. Only had $300 left in it. Waiting for some mystery shopping money to come in, hopefully starting at the end of the week. I need to start saving my reimbursement money to use for other reimbursements.
Dh had a really bad cold that kept him home from work on Friday and then again yesterday. We thought it was going into pneumonia at one point, but he says he’s better today and he went back to work.
I sold one $12 book and collected the last bit of money on a small debt someone owed us. That helped some.
All of dh’s temporary fixes finally gave up on the battery/alternator problem with the Silverado. Dh checked the alternator again and all the tests showed it was fine. That meant the real problem was both batteries, which were under 2 years old. Since they had a full replacement warranty on them we went to Wal-Mart on Saturday and go them replaced for free. ($225 value)
We heard some “loud” voices while our truck was in the bay and then dh overheard one employee tell another one she was going to get a LOT of baking soda and would be right back. It seems when they pulled one of the batteries out it literally fell apart! Thank goodness dh hadn’t taken it out at home and brought the batteries in. The batteries both had a manufacturing defect and that was what our problem had been. Today dh will be checking the two in the camper to see if they are the same brand because they were purchased about the same time. We are having problems with them as well. He will definitely be wearing protective clothing when he pulls them out since that one fell apart!
While trying to keep the place quiet while dh slept I spent a lot of time doing price researches for all the rendezvous items I will be listing this week, and digging up a lot of things to sell.
Ds and I also did some work in the garden. We have a lot of volunteer plants of what we were going to plant and they all look very healthy. Talk about cut our work down! No planting needed, and we’ve been getting plenty of rain. So it’s just been weeding around them so far. The garden has potatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, sage, chives and grapes in it so far. We’re hoping to get more in soon.
I discovered that the bank I made so much money off of last year mystery shopping has FINALLY started offering shops again this month. So I’ll be lining up shops with them for this week. YES!
Did some on our “scorched earth” plan in the sunroom. So far everything I’ve culled has gone into the recycling and charity bags, but that’s fine, at least the clutter is gone!
Like I said, not much done this week.
Somehow, the last two weeks of February felt like we had a painted bullseye on our door. The farm insurance issue still isn’t resolved. Our new policy was all set to replace our existing policy, which is woefully insufficient, when that policy was due to renew on March 11th. The insurance company had already sent the letter of declaration to the mortgage company to not renew the old policy in favor of this new one. But then the new insurance policy’s underwriter (who first approved this back in December 2015), apparently went out to look at our website and went into conniptions because he thought he saw evidence that we were doing a lot of things we hadn’t reported. So at the last minute, he yanked our policy. That was about two weeks ago. So for the last two weeks we’ve been working with the agent and underwriter to clarify what farming operations we ARE involved with, what we are NOT involved with, what we need coverage on, etc etc. Which in my mind should have been taken care of in December. I have been alternately infuriated that this all came up at the last minute, and mortified that we might have to cease operations in whole or in part because insurance won’t issue coverage. We submitted a new write-up of our entire yearly farm operations, with clarifications for how our website (as information source) differs from our on-the-ground operations (which is what we wanted covered). Now we’re waiting in pins and needles to hear back from this underwriter. Who by his comments has very likely never set foot on a working farm and thus is making his decisions without any working experience whatsoever. Nothing builds confidence like the knowledge that the busdriver is blind. If the underwriter is satisfied, we still have one more obstacle – he wants a site inspection to verify that what we WROTE is actually what we HAVE (nothing like being called a potential liar). Getting ready for that inspection will be its own project, because we have to either hurry up some farm operations to have them completed early, or we have to hold off and not start until after the inspection is done. If on the other hand he turns down our write-up, then we have to start all over with some other agency. With one insurance policy having just been declined, that just raises the bar on the next one.
In addition to that, we got word that new regulations on both the federal and state levels was going to impact our operations, either directly or indirectly. We ended up attending a lot of meetings the last two weeks to hear the details of those regulations. A lot of those details went something like “you’ll definitely need to comply, by such-and-such date (this year), but we don’t know the details yet and we don’t know when we’ll know. But you need to be in compliance anyway.” It was ludicrous. So even if we get coverage, we’re not sure yet how certain regulations are going to play out. One thing we did learn – one of our options for logging our land is now officially off the table, because the regulatory hoops for getting that option approved have just crossed the “too much hassle” boundary. So we’re reconsidering our options there.
I actually sort of hit bottom in terms of energy-and-optimism over the weekend, and wrestled with thoughts of “why do we keep trying?” Why even bother?” Doesn’t help that the feed store called out of the blue and asked me to work there, at $10/hr to start, but with the promise of raises because I’m a “subject matter expert” and I have more initiative than the kids filling out applications. I actually thought about it awhile, but we would essentially have had to shutter our operations. We just aren’t willing to do that. But we had to have some uncomfortable “what if” conversations to determine that no, we’re not ready to throw in the towel. That makes for a lot of mental and emotional wear and tear.
So this morning I woke up in a mood to grab the bull by the horns and do whatever it took to hang on for the ride. Not optimistic, per se, but perhaps “committed” would be the better word. We’ll do whatever it takes to hang in there and stay in business, whatever rules or insurance crap is thrown at us. Because we just couldn’t stomach the alternative. So that was my week.
I will mail them out on the appropriate dates. I set the budget for March. I have been reading on finance and investing all week. I have the grocery list made. I am going to the library for some free entertainment. It’s suppose to snow so don’t want everyone bored. It was kind of a boring week.
and on the tail in of that. I’m going to give you a couple of scenarios.. Our oldest son .. brilliant kid….( 31 now) as long as he was in school we did what we could towards a forward motion of that goal…even if it meant he was living with someone…. the minute stupid hit, we cut him off… get a job…. etc….it took him 8 years to finish a 4 year degree… he is great now.. married to a lovely girl… they are responsible with their finances and have great jobs…
Child # 2 is 29.. stupid kicks in with him a bunch… had a great job, got married, got a divorce, lived beyond his means, met a girl, quit his job to move across the state to be with her, couldn’t find a job, she kicked him out…. we gave him the 100.00 to limp back home which he chose his brother instead of us… he had a job interview and we paid for his gas, suit to be pressed and keep his cell phone on during the process… Thankfully he starts his new job as a global IT specialist today and will pay his brother some rent until he gets his own place…. has he learned? I hope so….
Child # 3 was so independent he worked two jobs, was in the military and worked his way through school… doing very well
Child # 4 is in college… he is finishing up his sophomore year so far no stupid so his room and board are covered as his tuition.. but he gets Pell grant money and a couple of small scholarships, he works at the YMCA for his extras, we pay for his car insurance, phone, contacts and send him a couple hundred a month for gas…
Our objective is to gt them through school and we sort of put blinders on to the rest of it… Ex. #2 got caught underage drinking… were we going to foot the lawyer bill…. ummmm no…. so #1 set in a court room for a couple weeks listening to cases similar and then represented #2 by repeating what he had memorized the real lawyers say… the both learned a lesson…. ( God help me)….
Hope this gives you somethings to help you sort the process… it is a really rough time for parents… so much easier when the only thing to worry about was potty training and what bedtime book to read….
have had the same tenant for 16 years, we have put in very little money into the property and always get our check on time. House is paid for now and we get $845 a month free and clear. Our other rental is managed by our MIL real estate firm we got in a foreclosure. Tenants have been late a few times, but pay us $100 late fee. To me, they can pay late every month if they give me an extra $100. When our MIL retires and moves to Houston, we will sell all the houses.
One of the things my dh and I have discussed is buying a riverfront lot and building one of those new small, all the rage, homes that you see. They are only big enough for two people at the most, and they seem to hold an appeal to a large number of people. I would think damage would be minimal, and they should be rather low in cost to maintain. I appreciate reading everyone’s words of advice here. It’s fun thinking of the possibilities here.